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The Freedom Businesses employ women at risk of being trafficked into the sex industry rather than for any skills or qualifications they might already have. Training is therefore a crucial component to the success of reaching the Freedom Business goals and in developing effective businesses. The training programme is about creating a pathway for staff members to improve themselves and their potential to further contribute to their communities’ economic activity. The training programme targets different levels:

Vocational Training

This training aims to equip women with practical skills relevant to the roles in which they will be employed. The basis of recruitment will be need and aptitude, not existing skills, so training for employees is essential to the functioning of each business unit. The vocational training involves short courses focused on the weaving, sewing or other skills and techniques needed for the business where the women will be employed.

There will be multiple training opportunities each year, depending on the number of new employees and where relevant more advanced training for existing employees.

Vocational training cost is NZ$500 per trainee. This covers all materials, tutoring, a stipend, food and accommodation where necessary. A more detailed breakdown of the budget is available on request.  

Freedom Opportunity

This is a management skills training programme aimed at developing young women from the target at-risk community. Candidates will have achieved a reasonable level of education and have demonstrated leadership potential. These young women are expected to fill leadership roles in the freedom businesses. They will be future production managers, supervisors, assistants and office staff within the freedom business network. There is also the potential for roles within the likes of Tamar, the social services provided through the Freeset Trust, and Justice Ventures International, our partners with anti-trafficking education and awareness. There is no reason that any staff member cannot ultimately become General Managers of a Freedom Business in the future.

Freedom Opportunity will be open to 10 trainees per year. We are looking to raise funds for 50 scholarships over the 5 years of the project period.

Freedom Opportunity costs NZ$771 for one full year scholarship. This is a per candidate training cost and covers all materials, tutoring, a stipend, food and accommodation where necessary. A more detailed breakdown of the budget is available on request.

Freedom Exposure

The Freedom Exposure course will be for people with a heart for justice, committed to the vision of freedom business. This is a 12-month management development programme aimed at providing future business leaders for freedom businesses. Candidates will be expected to be graduates and have an aptitude for business management. Much of the time will be spent embedded in freedom businesses, learning on the job, but there will also be considerable structured learning and on-going mentoring.

A freedom exposure scholarship is worth $2811 for each candidate. This is a per candidate training cost and covers all materials, tutoring, a stipend, food and accommodation where necessary. A more detailed breakdown of the budget is available on request.

Freedom Encounter

This is an intensive three-week exposure to the work of Freedom Businesses in Kolkata and Murshidabad. It is targeted to recruiting social entrepreneurs (both foreign and Indian) to the Freedom Business concept. It enables a significant encounter with rural and urban poverty in West Bengal and provides an understanding of the connection between poverty and the trafficking of women into Kolkata’s extensive sex-trade. Previous attendees are now involved in running or enabling the start-up of freedom businesses.

The Freedom Encounter is self-funding, with participants expected to cover all costs

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